By 2060 it is estimated that some 98 million people in the United States will be aged 65 years or older, up from about 46 million today. As a share of the total population, those over 65 are expected to go from 15% to 24% in that timespan. These numbers mean elder law is becoming a fast-growing part of the legal profession.
If you are thinking about hiring an elder law attorney, what are some of the things you should look for before you make your decision?
Experience is Key in a Good Elder Law Attorney
When looking for an attorney to represent you in any area of law, it’s important that you look for one with pertinent experience. When it comes to elder law, this means someone well-versed in many of the areas covered by elder law: things like retirement and estate planning, making a living will, dealing with government agencies like Social Security and Medicare, setting up a trust and planning for long-term living arrangements and health care, just to name a few.
You need an attorney who is able to navigate these different paths, someone who is specifically familiar with the laws in your state. For example, if you are looking for an attorney to just help you create a will, you can also look for an attorney who specializes in that area of elder law. This applies to any specific area for which you might need some help.
Are You Comfortable with Them?
When hiring someone who you will be doing long-term planning with, it is also important that you find someone who makes you feel comfortable. Do they seem sensitive to your needs or are they abrupt and seemingly dismissive? Do they seem like they grasp your goals with ease and are they confident they can help you achieve your goals?
After all, we are talking about planning out the rest of your life financially and legally; that is something you want to get right, because you don’t get a second chance at living the rest of your life.
Do Your Research
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and check the background of any attorney you might hire. In terms of elder law, find out if they are a member of any groups or organizations that deal with elder law or rate elder law attorneys. Ask them for references. Check out their websites. In the end, you are hiring them for important work and you want to make sure they can do the job.
If you have any questions about elder law or a specific area of elder law, contact the experienced attorneys at Doane and Doane, P.A. or call 561-656-0200 for a free initial consultation.